The Great Stephen King Horror Films Essay

The Great Stephen King Horror Films Essay

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Every other movie today seems to be taken from a novel. This is not necessarily terrible, but there are a few guidelines when it comes to converting a novel into film. The utmost critical aspect is preserving the theme. Theme is the large and small ideas which aid in explaining the actions and events in a work of literature or film. This can be accomplished through the handling of characters and their relationships with others or their own morals and values. It is perfectly acceptable to alter the plot of a novel, but it cannot violate the theme or tone. Ultimately, the theme and tone are what the reader or viewer takes away from the work. Movies are not just watched for their entertainment, but also to relate to and learn from. Of course, not all film adaptations are done properly. Arguably, one of the “so-called” greatest Stephen King horror films is The Shining starring Jack Nicholson. Stanley Kubrick 's film, although full of iconic scenes and quotes, is not a worthy adaptation of Stephen King 's novel.
One of the hardest aspects of changing a work of literature to a film is the reader 's expectations. The reader expects to feel the same way he or she did when reading the literature. It is challenging to limit revision due to the nature of film and literature being two very different ways to portray stories. It is similar to comparing an oil painting to a statue. There is also too much content in a novel to have it all put into a movie, sections of it have to be cut out (Boggs). As expected, a higher dedicated audience to a work of literature will be critical towards any given movie. The Shining is no exception. Not long ago, Stephen King criticized the movie saying, “The book is hot, and the movie is cold; the book ends i...


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...ter. Anyone who has never read the book will not be as affected. This is why the film alone, without comparing it to the book, achieves a reasonably satisfying job at appealing to the average person looking to watch a horror movie. There are numerous other scenes in this movie that can be compared, but the bar scene in particular is an excellent example of how much Stanley Kubrick transformed the film. It shows the difference between how the book and the movie portray Jack Torrance. Alcohol was a greater factor in the novel, which was only hinted at once in the bar scene. One could say these modifications are not acceptable considering they alter the characteristics of Jack. Even omitting Jack taking the Excedrin with the alcohol produces a less scary scene. This all leads to an unworthy adaptation due to the fact of changing the essence of character of Jack Torrance.

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